cultural diversity... what does it mean?

>> Thursday, July 30, 2009

my family is canadian. however, "culturally", my husband is half French-Canadian, one quarter Scottish, and one quarter German. he is fluent in both english and french, loves poutine, Montreal hardcore, and Mitsou. i am of Chinese descent, born to parents who were born in Jamaica, but although we did not speak Chinese, patois was easily spoken and understood. the husband says that it really threw him for a loop to meet my cute little Chinese grandfather who spoke with a Bob Marley inflection - while at first i barely understood my father-in-law's heavy Quebecquois accent. together, we are a cultural melting pot.
so what does this make the mini? i wonder, if like her parents, she will identify with Canadian culture? or will she gravitate towards one part of her "cultural makeup" more than another? or will she embrace all of it? i am hoping that she will speak French like her father, and that she'll be able to whip up a mean pot of oxtail and rice and peas like her mommy. i'm hoping that she won't flinch at eating chicken feet while out for dim sum, and will love going to the cabane au sucre with her nana in Montreal.
when i was at work, our organization was in the midst of cultural diversity training with all staff teams. but what does that really mean? with so many people with rich, varied backgrounds like my mini, do we really need to learn to be accepting? people should be proud that they carry such diversity within themselves - and be excited to learn about the cultural histories of others. my wonderful mother-in-law (the mini's nana) has one basic mantra that i think sums it all up - "BE KIND". and seriously, do we really need training to embrace that?


Kate8085 July 30, 2009 at 10:03 AM  

You ask "so what does this make the mini?"
My answer: Friggin' Awesome.
What an amazing kid she will grow up to be, being exposed to so many wonderful cultures.
And she is waaaaaaaay too cute.

2ndComing August 2, 2009 at 11:27 AM  

what a thought provoking post. My feeling on mini is that as long as she has parents that will teach her to embrace both sides of her heritage and to be tolerant of others she'll be a step in a positive direction for future generations. To have all that cultural diversity surrounding you is nothing less than a gift.

Stevie August 7, 2009 at 4:16 PM  

What an interesting post! You're daughter's definitely a little cutie ^_^

burrito August 10, 2009 at 8:32 PM  

she's a lucky kid to have access to such a diversity of cultures. Do your best to keep the French going - get her into a French immersion school when the time comes, if you can. I come from a French-Cdn background and in just one generation (my dad's) the language was lost totally. I'm still sad about that.

Joanie August 11, 2009 at 8:19 AM  

I would love to meet your grandfather. That would be AWESOME to meet a little chinese guy that speaks with bob marley inflections. Awesome.

And yes, the mini is awesomely cute and I believe culturally, she is "friggin' awesome" as Kate8085 put it. :D

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